The Battle Of Alberta Has Everything A Hockey Fan Would Want And More

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Nicholas Elias Contributor
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The blood feud between the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames is back in a big way. 

Last night’s game in Edmonton had big fights, bigger hits, a pissed off NHL superstar, a sick deke for a goal and a baseball-style bat flip by David Rittich. After an early Calgary goal, Buddy Robinson laid a huge hit on Oilers Riley Sheahan to start the physical play. (RELATED: Jacob Markström Makes Insane Save Against The San Jose Sharks)

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sean Monahan then squared off for the first fight of the game.

Then the long awaited rematch between Zack Kassian of the Oilers and Matthew Tkachuk of the Flames ended the period.

After the game, Kassian showed a lot of respect for Tkachuk, who apparently wanted to fight at the beginning, but instead waited until the end of the first period. Before they fought, Kassian told Tkachuk “Thanks kid, I appreciate you doing this.” Kassian had just signed a four year contract extension with the Oilers earlier that day for $3.2 million average annual value.

Tied 2-2 late in the second period, McDavid could be seen on the bench furious about a non-call on a hit by Mark Giordano. The captain of the Oilers felt like the captain of the Flames tried to take out his knee.

In the third, Matt Benning would show off his skill by decking Noah Hanifin and going far-side post on David Rittich to tie the game 3-3.

After a heated overtime, the game was decided by a shootout. Sean Monahan of the Flames would score the winner, but all the talk is about David Rittich’s final save on Leon Draisaitl. The save itself is a beautiful poke-check, but afterward he throws his stick in the air like a baseball bat.

The Oilers visited Calgary on Jan. 11, which saw the birth of the Zack Kassian and Matthew Tkachuk feud.

Tkachuk laid some large and questionable hits on the 211-pound winger for Edmonton. Kassian retaliated by trying to fight after one of the hits, but Tkachuk did not engage. Kassian threw as many punches as he could while Tkachuk hid behind his gloves, earning the nickname “turtle” from a majority of Edmonton fans.

That fight resulted in a two-game suspension for Zack Kassian, who said that he would “Do it all over again.” Kassian also said that he “Could do what Matthew Tkachuk did. If the league is saying it’s clean I can do exactly that.” Kassian forfeited $21,000 dollars from his contract as a result of a suspension. 

The fans took it a step further by donating to CJAY 92, a local Calgary radio station, to get a “Matthew Tkachuk Friendship Tour” billboard put up in Edmonton before last nights game. The $20,000 dollars in donations went to ALS research.

Edmonton fans responded by donating to Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids, a group that makes lunches for kids that have food insecurity. 

Calgary has won every meeting between the two teams this year and has outscored Edmonton 13-7 in those contests. The Flames play Edmonton again this Saturday at home and will host them again for the last game of the season.